One of the biggest challenges in off-site specimen collection is maintaining the viability of the sample during collection and transport.
Challenges with Off-Site Viral Sample Storage
Of particular concern is the transport temperature and the length time the specimen remains in transport and storage.
As a general rule, specimens should be transported at or below room temperature. The optimal window for transport for diagnosis is 48 hours, but many times weekend delays mean a sample may be stored for longer periods—often without proper refrigeration.
Performance Evaluation of Viral Transport Systems
A recent study published in the April 2015 issue of the Journal of Medical Microbiology found that Puritan’s UniTranz-RT™ was able to support the viability of clinically relevant viruses at two different temperatures of storage through 72 hours.
Study DesignThe goal of the study was to assess the preservation of the diagnostic value of specimens collected off-site and transported using two commercially available microbial transport media products.
Viral Transport Systems Evaluated
- Puritan’s Universal Transport System (UniTranz-RT™)
- BD™’s Universal Viral Transport System (UVT)
- Chlamydia trachomatis
- Chlamydia pneumonia
- Mycoplasma hominis
- Mycoplasma pneumonia
- Ureaplasma urealyticum
Study results demonstrated that UniTranz-RT has the ability to support the viability of clinically relevant viruses at both 4˚C (39.2˚F) and at room temperature (between 20 and 26 °C [68 and 79°F]) for up to 72 hours.
UniTranz-RT: "Excellent" Clinical Microbiology Tool
Researchers concluded that the “viral transport media tested in this study are excellent clinical microbiology tools for microbiologists.”